India-China talks to focus on reducing trade deficit
The Dollar Business Bureau
Amid India’s mounting trade deficit with China, India is holding bilateral trade talks with China urging it to allow greater market access for several Indian products including buffalo meat.
“Not just buffalo meat, but there are many other issues on which market access is not available, and we have been talking with them on every such item so that legitimate exports from India will have to find market access in China, and the work is going on,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said when replying to a query in Lok Sabha.
Sitharaman met Chinese vice-minister for the ministry of finance and commerce Wang Shouwen and conveyed India’s concerns about the mounting bilateral trade deficit. Sitharaman underscored that China needs to find out ways to address the India’s concerns in order to ensure healthy trade relations between the two neighbours.
The commerce minister also urged the Chinese government for speedy clearances of import of Indian rice and pharmaceutical products into China. She also highlighted the Indian companies’ inability to enter the Chinese market due to lack of expeditious procedures for clearances.
Indian service sector companies have been unable to enter into the Chinese markets, while the country’s pharmaceutical sector has got a limited access to the market. As expected Sitharaman asked her counterpart to consider demonstration of IT/ITeS projects for Indian companies in China.
Reiterating the government’s emphasis on improving the domestic competitiveness of exporters, the commerce minister said she is working on a proposal to set up a separate logistics unit that would effectively deal with the issues such as rising costs. Currently, there is no single department or ministry to look at the related aspects covering various modes of shipment such as sea, roads and railways.